4 MARCH 2019


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Article from BTNews 4 MARCH 2019



The London Cruise Show Olympia, which ran over a weekend in late February, can be described as ‘dull’ with just seven cruise companies participating.  We list them and not those that failed to put in an appearance. 

The Olympia organisers seemed to lack any enterprise in promoting the event, although they did put together a fine series of theatre-style talks aimed generally at those new to cruising or wanting specific advice on such topics as explorer cruises and heritage sites.   Well done Crystal Cruises, Marella, Orcades Cruises (nothing to do with P&O who once operated a ship with that name), Oceania, Regent, Star Clippers and Viking with a large stand plus the volunteers from the Ocean Liner Society with their desk.

With the number of UK cruise sales, doubling over the last few years to around two million individual packages, there is scope with CLIA hosting its first-ever Expedition Cruise Forum this month.  Taking place in London on 28 March, travel agents will have the chance to meet with expedition cruise companies to learn about the latest products, news and developments. In October, CLIA will host the Luxury and Expedition Cruise Showcase on the 8th in Belfast, 9th in Manchester and 10th in Norwich.


Representing the river cruise fraternity was FRED, although Viking is very strong in this area.  www.fredrivercruises.co.uk


Scenic Eclipse Update

Claimed to be ‘The World’s First Discovery Yacht’ the initial revenue sailing for Scenic Eclipse has now been confirmed as 15 August 2019.
“We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience these delays to the launch of Scenic Eclipse have caused our guests. As a company we have done everything possible to complete the ship within the time limits that were set previously, but a series of events that are outside our control have put us in a position where we must delay,” stated a company spokesperson.

As reported the ongoing financial challenges faced by the Croatian Uljanik shipyard, where Eclipse is being built, have caused a range of ongoing impacts. Workers had not been paid full salaries since August 2018, which has led to strikes and manpower shortages as well as several other shipyard disruptions, resulting in months of lost production. 

To keep the build moving as quickly as possible in these challenging circumstances the company expanded their team within the shipyard by employing cruise ship specialists from Finland, Italy, the UK and Norway. The expanded Scenic team took over the lead role in completing the ship.

In a very positive development a Croatian-based investment group and the world’s largest and most experienced cruise ship builder, the Italian shipyard Fincantieri was confirmed on 7 February as the new owner of Uljanik.  Undertakings have been made with Scenic customers who had paid deposits for cancelled cruises who will be joining the ship on trips from next August onwards.

Scenic Eclipse will set a whole new benchmark in design, innovation and luxury, offering ‘up in the air tours’ from its own helicopter, and underwater observation from a submarine.  The company says the wait will have been worthwhile.


All the cruises mentioned include flights with the prices per person (pp) except where mentioned otherwise.  The Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships (ISBN 978-18-004-978-6 www.insightguides.com) ranking is by star rating, tonnage, lower bed numbers, and points out of 2,000.  If your company has not got a mention speak to whoever deals with the press.  We’ve reached out to most!

The images shown are one per cruise line internal.  It makes a change from the normal ship profile.  Prices are a guideline and may differ from a cruise specialist or direct.

Celestyal Cruises – Celestyal Crystal
3-star; 25,000 tons; 966 passengers; 1,236 points. 
Start and finish port Athens.  
From 6 May.  7-night cruise with two overnights in port and 5 nights at sea.  Mykonos (overnight), Milos, Santorini (overnight), Crete, Kusadasi.  Flights included.  Supplement for single cabin. Drinks onboard, three shore excursions and gratuities. From £929pp inside stateroom.

CMV – Magellan
3-star; 46,000 tons; 1,452 passengers; 1,168 points. 
Start and finish port London Cruise Terminal Tilbury. 
From 3 April. 10 nights. It is an unusual itinerary and takes in the Orkneys, Oban, Belfast, Cork (Cobh), Rouen, River Seine to Honfleur. Includes optional visits to Keukenhof from Amsterdam, Titanic Museum in Belfast, and Monet’s Garden from Rouen. Single cabins available.  Service £7pp.  £599pp for sharing an inner cabin for two. £719pp for sharing an ocean view for two.

Crystal Cruises – Crystal Serenity
5-star; 69,000 tons; 1,090 passengers; 1,686 points.
Start and finish port Rome. 
From 11 May.  6 nights.  Livorno, Portofino, Monte Carlo, St Tropez, Ajaccio. Flights included. Supplement for Single cabins.  Gratuities included.   £2,132pp including return scheduled flights, overseas transfers, stateroom, full bar service, mealtime wines.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines – Balmoral
3+-star; 43,000 tons, 1,747 passengers; 1363 points.
Start and finish port Southampton.  From 2 April.  17 nights.  Malaga, Cartagena, Ibiza, Mahon (Menorca), Ajaccio, Olbia, Palma (Majorca), Cádiz, Lisbon. Gratuites £4pp per night. 


Holland America Line – Koningsdam
4-star; 99,500 tons; 2,650 passengers; 1,673 points.
Start and finish port Rome (Civitavecchia).  From 10 May.  10 nights.  Cartagena, Malaga, Gibraltar, Cadiz, Malaga, Barcelona, Marseille, Monte Carlo, Livorno. Service not included but flights are. £899pp.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) – Norwegian Spirit
3-star; 1,976 passengers; 76,000 tons. 1338 points.
Start and finish port Rome (Civitavecchia).  From 28 April. 9 sea nights stopping at Santorini, Athens, Mykonos, Chania, Valletta, Messina, Naples, Livorno. No flights included but plenty of ‘low-cost’ from various UK airports. Single cabins available with supplement.  Premium all-inclusive fare includes up to $500pp on-board credit, beverages, gratuities, internet and speciality coffees.  Balcony stateroom guests gain complimentary speciality dining in selected restaurants on three evenings. From £1,379pp (Inside double stateroom, Premium all-inclusive).

Oceania Cruises – Marina
4-star; 44,000 tons; 1,258 passengers; 1,587 points.  
Start port Barcelona, finish port Rome (Civitavecchia).  From 3 May.  14 nights at sea.  Barcelona (overnight in port), Valencia, Palma (Majorca), Palamos, Toulon, Monte Carlo (overnight in port), Antibes, Cinque Terre (La Spezia), Ajaccio, Livorno, Sorrento/Capri, Amalfi/Positano. Flights included but no transfers. Inclusive of soft drinks, internet, gratuities, alcoholic beverage package, 8 shore excursions and US$800 shipboard credit. £4,360pp.

One Ocean Expeditions – RCGS Resolute (formerly Hanseatic)
5-star; 8,000 tons; 184 passengers; 1,716 points.
Start port Puerto Caldera (Costa Rica), finish port Colon (Panama).  From 23 April.  9 nights.  Pacific Ocean: Estacion Puerto Caldera, Curu National Wildlife Refuge, Manuel Antonio National Park, Corcovado National Park, Coiba Island, Golf Montijo, Pearl Islands, Panama City.  Both double and single cabins available: Service not included.  No single supplement for solo travellers wanting a private cabin, and if booking two passengers, the second travels at a 50% rate – a total of US$7,942.50 for two sharing a twin private cabin.

P&O Cruises – Ventura
3+-star, 116,000 tons, 3,074 passengers, 1,372 points.  
Start and finish port Southampton.  From 5 May.  7-night cruise calling at the Norwegian ports of Stavanger, Olden, Alesund and Bergen.  For holidays departing May 2019 the discretionary service charge on board will be removed and also on-board credit available.  Balcony cabin (double) from £1.249pp. Single cabin available from £1,100pp.

Ponant – L’Austral
4-star; 11,000 tons; 264 passengers; 1,517 points.
Starts Daker 3 April to Lisbon.  10 nights at sea.  Praia and Mindelo (Cap Verde), Las Palmas (Gran Canaria), Arrecife (Lanzarote), Funchal (Madeira): Single cabins available.  Service recommended (€10 / day).  Certain drinks included. £2,941pp.






Saga Cruises – Saga Sapphire
4-star; 706 passengers; 37,000 tons; 1443 points.
Start and finish port Dover.  From 13 May. 30 nights at sea. St Johns (Newfoundland) Sydney, Nova Scotia; Gaspe, Quebec; Montreal, Quebec City, Corner Brook (Newfoundland); Halifax (Nova Scotia); Ponta Delgada (Azores); Single cabins available and service included.   Chauffeur service up to 250 miles, selected drinks and on-board gratuities. From £4614pp.

Silversea – Silver Spirit
5-star, 36,000 tons, 540 passengers, 1,639 points
Start port Lisbon, finish port Barcelona; Cadiz, Malaga, Porto Mahon, Alghero, Livorno, Monte Carlo, Marseille. 10 nights at sea. There is a 150% single supplement.  included is gourmet cuisine, fine spirits, wines and champagne, butler service and all gratuities.  Guests receive extra $1,000 per suite onboard credit and one-category suite upgrade!  Price Vista Suite from £4,900 pp.

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